Dan Majerle, also known as "Thunder Dan," was born on September 9th, 1965. He was a 6'6" guard and forward from Traverse City, MI. After starting four seasons at Central Michigan (21.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists), he was selected in the first round by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th overall pick. He spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Suns, earning three all-star selections while scoring 15.3 points with 5.2 rebounds and 3.4 steals per contest. He is 10th all-time for Phoenix in scoring (8,034 points), ninth in rebounds (2,823), 10th in assists (1,824), fifth in steals (811), and 12th with 258 blocked shots. Prior to 1995-96, the Suns traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played every game of the season. The Cavs released him on August 8th.
On August 22nd, 1996, Majerle and the Heat came to an agreement for $14,510,000 over five seasons. He started in 26 of his 36 appearances in his first season with Miami, averaging 10.8 points in 35.1 minutes per game. He shot 40.6% overall, and 33.8% from long distance, with 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He finished in double figures 19 times, helping the Heat to a 27-9 while in the lineup. On November 20th, in a 94-75 Heat triumph over the Vancouver Grizzlies, he scored 16 points with nine boards and six assists. He hit six-of-11 three-point shots on November 26th, scoring 23 with five rebounds and three steals in a 107-88 victory against the Golden State Warriors. The following night, he put up a season high 26 points with 10 rebounds for his only double double of the season, in a 98-82 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Miami posted a then-franchise best 61-21 record, qualifying for the postseason as the second seed in the East. The Heat eliminated the Orlando Magic in five games and the New York Knicks in seven before bowing out to the Chicago Bulls in five. Majerle played in all 17 contests, averaging eight points, four rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
In 1997-98, Majerle started 22 times out of 72 appearances, shooting 37.6% from three-point range and 41.9% overall. He played 26.8 minutes, scoring 7.2 points with 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Majerle helped Miami go 49-23 while playing, as Miami went 55-27 overall. He finished 24 games in double figures. In six games from March 22nd through April 2nd, he hit 15 three point shots, averaging 14.3 points with 6.2 rebounds and four assists per game. The Heat lost in the first round to the New York Knicks, three-games-to-two. Majerle played twice, totaling nine points with five rebounds, five assists and four steals through the series.
1998-99 would see Majerle shoot 39.6% from the field and 33.5% from deeper, playing 33.8 minutes per game. Over 48 games, all starts, he scored seven points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 helpers per game. He posted 11 times in double figures. Miami went 32-16 when Majerle played. On April 19th, he scored a season high 22 points on eight-of-11 shooting in a 94-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miami took the top seed with a lockout shortened 33-17 record. He appeared five times in the playoffs, shooting under 20% and scoring a total of 20 points with 29 rebounds as the Heat were eliminated by the Knicks, three-games-to-two.
Majerle averaged 7.3 points with 4.8 rebounds, three dimes and 1.3 steals per game. He started 69 times, played 33.4 minutes per game, shot 40.3% overall and 36.2% from three-point range. He put up double figures 18 times, and helped the Heat go 44-25. On January 11th, in a 116-106 win over the Minnesota TimberWolves, he scored a season high 33 points with five rebounds and five assists. The Heat earned the Eastern Conference's second seed with a 52-30 record. Miami swept the Pistons in three to open the playoffs before losing in seven games to the Knicks. Majerle scored nine points per game, with an average of seven rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.1 steals.
2000-01 would be Majerle's last season in Miami. He played 53 games, starting 19 times at shooting guard. He averaged five points per game on 33.6% shooting, pitching in 3.1 boards, 1.7 assists, and one steal per game. He finished in double figures seven times. His best game was on January 16th, in a 93-85 win over the Pistons, when he hit all three of his three point attempts for nine points, along with seven rebounds. Miami went 50-32 overall, but lost in the first round to the Charlotte Hornets in three straight games. Majerle totaled 16 points with 10 rebounds and five assists over 71 minutes to bring his Miami career to a close.
Majerle spent his last NBA season back with Phoenix, playing in 65 games. He is a member of the Suns "Ring of Honor," and served the team after retirement as an assistant head coach from 2008-13. He will soon make his NCAA Division I coaching debut with Grand Canyon University.
All-Time HEATline: Five seasons, 278 games, 30.3 minutes, 7.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks, 11.4 PER, 23.2 win shares.